September 17, 2021

Stunning photo shows Perseverance’s Mars landing from above

NASA’s Perseverance rover shared an exciting photo on Friday from right before its wheels first touched the surface of Mars.

In the photo shared on the official Perseverance Twitter account, we get an extremely rare, close-up photo of an entire rover on (or almost on) another planet. The lower right quarter shows the wires that were used to lower the vehicle down from its “jetpack” lander, which hovered above the surface using rocket propulsion.

After the descent and confirmation of landing, the lander was programmed to fly away to a safe distance and land on the surface so as not to damage the precious rover it just dropped off.

The photo also gives a new perspective of the area where Perseverance landed. The first pictures that were shared just after landing were captured with black and white navigation cameras, whereas this new photo is much higher quality, better showcasing the flat and welcoming patch of Martian land that Perseverance will begin its mission on.

More high-quality photos are expected to be sent back to Earth from the rover’s Mastcam-Z imagers in the coming Martian days (known as sols). 

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